A leaked document reveals the secret membership list for a shadowy right-wing group that links elite Republicans and conservative activists with anti-abortion and anti-Islamic extremists.
The membership list for the Council for National Policy (CNP) showed influential figures in Donald Trump's administration alongside leaders of organizations classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as hate groups, reported The Guardian.
"This new CNP list makes clear that the group still serves as a key venue where mainstream conservatives and extremists mix," said Heidi Beirich, of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. "[SNP] clearly remains a critical nexus for mainstreaming extremism from the far right into conservative circles."
The group was founded in 1981 by right-wing Christian leaders Tim LaHaye, Howard Phillips and Paul Weyrich, who had also been deeply involved with the Moral Majority, to gain influence within Ronald Reagan's administration, and has gone on to host George W. Bush and Mitt Romney as GOP presidential candidates and Trump, when he was in office last year.
The CNP reportedly instructs members not to reveal their affiliation or even identify the group, whose executive committee chairman Bill Walton was shown on video obtained by the Washington Post last year describing the election as a "spiritual battle" pitting "good versus evil."
The leaked membership list shows anti-Muslim extremists Frank Gaffney, founder and executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy, and Brigitte Gabriel, founder and chairman of Act For America, along with anti-LGBTQ extremists, Michael Farris, president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom; Brad Dacus, founder and president of the Pacific Justice Institute; Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; Matthew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel; and Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association.
Anti-immigrant extremists James and Amapola Hansberger, co-founders of Legal Immigrants For America, also showed up on the list, and so did anti-abortion extremist Margaret Hartshorn, chair of the board of Heartbeat International.
One newcomer was Charlie Kirk, founder and president of the youth organization Turning Point USA, and and pro-Trump conspiracist Jerome Corsi was listed as a member of CNP's board of governors.
Conservative heavyweights were also listed as members, such as L. Brent Bozell III, founder of the Media Research Center; Eugene Mayer, president of the Federalist Society; Lisa Nelson, chief executive of the American Legislative Exchange Council; Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Return; and Daniel Schneider, executive director of the American Conservative Union.
Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) was named as a member, along with corporate leaders from Boeing, Cinemark Holdings, Coors Brewing, Forbes and Morgan Stanley, as well as GOP megadonors and conservative media figures.